Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti’ s annual ‘felabration’ that was taking place in Nigeria, wrapped on 18th October on a high note.
The week-long celebration lined up performances from famous Nigerian artists like Wizkid, Olamide, 2 Face Idibia and Iyanya.
It centered on the legend’s life through the eyes of Moore Carlos, the author of Fela’s authorized biography titled: Fela: This B*tch of a Life.
Fela Kuti (born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti), also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was a multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, and pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre.
In the 23-chapter biography, Fela Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997) spoke about what drew him to his 27 wives.
In his words, “What attracted me to each of them? Sex. I thought they were sexy…” He added, “That’s what attracts me to a woman first.”
Fela said that when he married 27 wives, he knew what he was doing.
“Did I sleep with all of them in one night? No. Man, I said I married twenty-seven, not seven! I only slept with one, then the one next in turn.”
According to the biography, which was published in 2005, Fela was honest with all his wives.
“I followed my normal procedure. You see, before I married them I’d told them: ‘Look, when I marry you, I’m gonna do the same thing I was doing before with you. It’s gonna be the same house, the same thing, but just that we’re married,’” read
He narrated how his house became something special catapulted from desire.
“Some came to my house on their own. Others, I had come. Why? ‘Cause I wanted to —-(expletive) them. That was all. I wanted a house where I could be —-ing (expletive) and I had it. It grew into something else after though. Something special. But it started just with sex. The desire to —- (expletive).” He said
So why did he place such a high premium on making love?
“Man, the one most important thing in the human being is that life-giving and pleasurable sensation… And that’s what’s being condemned the most. Sex is life. That’s what I believe. Me, I —- (expletive) as often and as long as I can-o! Now, it’s not even a matter of choice,” he intimated.
Fela Kuti was more than just a womanizer. Though his views on women were nuanced and less modern, he was a candid supporter of human rights. Many of his songs are direct attacks against dictatorships, specifically the militaristic governments of Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s.
Fela Kuti was a first cousin to the celebrated Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.